Even if you aren’t one of those Harry Potter geeks, there’s very less chance that you haven’t heard of the books or the movies. It isn’t just a series but a phenomenon that took over the world in no time when published. However, let’s get into the basic introduction of it as a brand for a better understanding of its marketing strategies.
Though it started out as a book series, Harry Potter has become a global brand that also includes movies, merchandise, theme parks, and more. The immense success of the Harry Potter books led to the creation of the Harry Potter film franchise and consequently, merchandise including toys, clothing, accessories, and home decor. Additionally, the franchise has inspired several theme park attractions, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida and California, as well as in Japan and the UK.
As a brand, Harry Potter is worth billions of dollars and has a massive fan following all over the world. The brand continues to captivate audiences of all ages and has left a lasting impact on popular culture throughout history since its inception. There is no doubt that the product itself is the first and foremost thing that led to this massive success. However, we can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that the marketing of Harry Potter significantly contributed to it.
An unabashed word-of-mouth publicity
Following the inception of the phenomenon, J.K. Rowling did not require extensive marketing efforts apart from providing enough fodder for conversational growth. Her fans took charge and initiated several viral campaigns expressing their enthusiasm for upcoming releases. Harry Potter frequently trended on Twitter, while Facebook pages and events were numerous, and countless bloggers posted about the series. These promotions are more authentic as they originate from the fans themselves, rather than the individual who profits from them. Endorsements and promotions from consumers hold greater value than content produced by the company.
Marketing Through Multiple Channels
J.K. Rowling employed various mediums to connect with her audience, acknowledging that it encompassed a broad spectrum from young children to adults, each with distinct preferences. Along with her books and movies, she crafted an immersive experience for fans through attractions like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Harry Potter trailers amassed millions of views on YouTube. Marketers can learn from her approach and employ multiple channels to disseminate their message. Given that different segments of the audience are drawn to distinct methods, it is essential to employ a diverse range of promotional tools.
Keeping Up The Tease
Rowling had a complete outline of the plot, including details like whether Harry or Voldemort would meet their demise and whether Snape pledged loyalty to Dumbledore or Voldemort. Additionally, she kept her fans on the edge of their seats by providing snippets of information before the release of each book, which increased their curiosity and ultimately boosted sales. Initially, the publishers had to take legal action against spoilers posted on various websites, but they soon realized that fans were more interested in confirming their accuracy than avoiding them. Rowling capitalized on this trend, and the charges were dropped. This approach contributed significantly to the brand selling over 400 million copies.
Before the release of the first Harry Potter movie, Warner Bros had already inked agreements with Mattel, Hasbro, Coca-Cola, and Lego. Nevertheless, the team at Warner Bros, with Rowling’s guidance, made sure that the market was not oversaturated with Harry Potter merchandise, and this strategy proved to be very effective for the brand.
These were some of the factors that led to the roaring success of Harry Potter as a brand. To find more success stories of brands and individuals to draw inspiration, join World Brand Affairs. We bring you an in-depth marketing analysis of your favorite brands from across the globe.